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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Eastern Invader May Get Lucky in El Camino Real

2/16/2012

By Greg “The Commish” Johnson
The Downey Profile

Posted February 17, 2012 @ 4:20 p.m. ET


We've been reminded this week of the history of runners from the Grade III El Camino Real Derby to not only make it to the Saturday in May, but to win it. But there's another history, too, one which has a less than happy ending for the local heroes.

This fray is no exception, as many times in the past invaders have taken those precious graded stakes bucks home with them.

The Hollendorfer pair of Lady of Fifty and the possible favorite on Saturday, Russian Greek, have reeled off five straight local stakes victories collectively. 'Lady' retains the services of local monster jock Russell Baze off her third straight gate-to-wire score, all stakes. The filly may very well prove one tough customer if she gets alone on the lead, enough so that, at the least, I’ll think twice before leaving her out of the exotics.

Russian Greek comes off a powerful stretch run to take the California Derby on Jan. 14. This son of Giant’s Causeway appears to be on the improve for his first shot at graded stakes money. While there is a strong sentimental cheer for this guy here at The Profile -- he's one of our Triple Crown Fantasy League horses -- that top Beyer figure of 76 is telling me that a piece may be his ceiling.

Lucky Chappy exits a very tough running of the Kitten’s Joy stakes on the turf at Gulfstream Park in his first start of the year. The trouble line was aplenty for this son of High Chapparal in the Grade I Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf, and he still ended up just 3 1/2 lengths back for all the marbles after a slow break. Connections Team Valor International certainly know what they’re doing of late in getting a turf horse to Churchill, and it looks like that’s exactly why he’s popped up here today. Watch for this guy late, and later yet in the winner’s circle when all is said and done.

Cahill Chrome is another with success when he’s out there winging it, but I’m not really seeing this guy keeping up when others stick it into fifth gear at the top of the stretch in this nine-furlong race.

Recent maiden winner All Squared Away just won on the front end, but he looks a bit too ambitiously placed in here for me to get all excited about.

Handsome Mike is one of those invaders coming off three straight graded stakes races, and he's been forwardly placed  as well, suggesting he won’t be too far off the filly throughout. He hasn’t dodged anyone down South, but then again he hasn’t fared all that well either, including two off-the-board finishes on polytrack.

Rockinartz Recruit may very well have the best race on the surface to date, posting an 89 Beyer Speed Figure in his maiden graduation on Jan. 2 in his third lifetime start. Ultra hot local trainer Lloyd Mason brings this charge in off a 27% win clip from 216 starters at this track. A return to that form of Jan. 2 on the stretch-out makes him an interesting proposition at what may also be a decent price.  

PICKS FROM THE COMMISH:

1. LUCKY CHAPPY
2. LADY OF FIFTY
3. RUSSIAN GREEK
4. ROCKINARTZ RECRUIT


Have a great Holiday weekend of racing, and as usual….may the horse be with you!
GOT YOUR WINNERS YET?

Saturday, Race 8
Grade III El Camino Real Derby
Golden Gate Fields
Purse: $200,000
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile
Surface: Synthetic
Post Time: 7:15 ET

Post Horse   ML Jockey Wt S M Trainer
1 Daddy Nose Best (KY)   9-2 J. Leparoux 121 C L S. Asmussen
2 Senor Rain (IN)   12-1 K. Krigger 121 G L P. Miller
3 Cahill Chrome (CA)   10-1 J. Hernandez 121 G L R. Hansen
4 Russian Greek (KY)   5-2 A. Gryder 121 C L J. Hollendorfer
5 Unveiled Heat (CA)   20-1 F. Alvarado 121 C L S. Specht
6 Lucky Chappy (IRE)   7-2 A. Garcia 121 C L G. Motion
7 Handsome Mike (KY)   6-1 C. Nakatani 121 C L D. O'Neill
8 Rockinarz Recruit (CA)   20-1 A. Cedillo 121 G L L. Mason
9 All Squared Away (KY)   20-1 K. John 121 G L P. Miller
10 Lady of Fifty (KY)   5-1 R. Baze 116 F L J. Hollendorfer
 
Owners: 1 - Bob & Cathy Zollars; 2 - Gary or Cecil Barber; 3 - Kjell H. Qvale; 4 - Olympia Star, Inc.;
5 - Mr. & Mrs. Larry D. Williams; 6 - Team Valor International; 7 - J. Paul Reddam; 8 - Anthony & Melanie
Lema; 9 - Altamira Racing Stable & Wire to Wire Racing, Inc.; 10 - Jerry Hollendorfer or George Todaro
Breeders: 1 - Patricia Ann Elia Trust; 2 - Martin Stables Inc.; 3 - SLU, Inc.; 4 - Overbrook Farm;
5 - Mr. & Mrs. Larry D. Williams; 6 - Allevamento Gialloblu S R L; 7 - John Liviakis; 8 - Legacy
Ranch, Inc.; 9 - Gracefield Breeders; 10 - Cloverleaf Farms II, Inc.
Equipment Changes: 7 - Handsome Mike - Blinkers On

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